How ‘Facebook Zero’ Will Impact Social Media Marketing

Facebook’s latest algorithm update(Facebook Zero) will have a significant impact on Social Media Marketing efforts on the platform. In this article, you’ll find out what to expect from the changes and learn how you can best maintain interaction and visibility with audiences on the Facebook news feed.

Facebook Page Organic ReachFacebook is making significant changes to its news feed algorithm in an effort to prioritize “meaningful” person-to-person interactions among friends and family over posts from Facebook Pages. Facebook has acknowledged that passively consuming articles or videos that don’t spark engagement or interaction is bad for a person’s mood.

While Facebook still values FB Page content as an important part of their platform’s ecosystem, the news feed will shift the focus from ranking content that’s directly consumed from Pages (which will shrink in reach) to content that is shared and talked about among friends (which will grow).

Reducing or eliminating this may be a positive for their user’s experience, but these updates will result in fewer public posts from FB Pages and fewer videos in user’s news feed unless companies and organizations pay to promote that content.

This will continue to cause a decline in referral traffic from Facebook(which is already down over 25%), a topic I discussed in a previous blog post titled: Referral Traffic Trends: Facebook Declines, Google Grows.

Mark Zuckerberg, said this about the planned updates to the news feed:

“As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard – it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

Organic reach for business pages has been declining for a long time. The Facebook Zero algorithm update just accelerates the decline. The chart on this article clearly shows the decrease in organic reach for page posts since 2012.

Facebook is a for-profit company. As such they are financially motivated to slowly decrease the efficacy of their organic (i.e. FREE) advertising in order to make people move to their paid ad platform.

Google did the same thing in their “search engine results” which drove revenue growth for their AdWords Paid Search Advertising service. In a previous blog post I discussed how this ultimately caused Google to lose market share for product searches on the Internet. Amazon now leads Google in Product Searches.

It is why I(along with the European Union) no longer call Google a search engine. I refer to it as a Paid Placement Advertising Service.

WHAT DO THESE CHANGES MEAN FOR FACEBOOK MARKETERS?

If you rely primarily on organic traffic from Facebook, then the Facebook Zero algorithm is bad news.

As Facebook begins to prioritize content that facilitates meaningful people-to-people connections and interactions, marketers can expect the organic reach of their Facebook pages to drop.

Specifically, users will see more posts from people they’re connected to in the news feed and less content from pages they follow. This is a significant change from the previous values of the news feed, which prioritized the total time spent on Facebook and how many people shared posts directly.

Users will also start seeing less video content in the news feed because it typically generates less conversation, particularly public videos.

Facebook will allow your followers the option to select to see your content first in their News Feed, an option that very few if any users will be able to figure out how to set. It also hints that Groups and Live Video may get a boost with the new update.

WHAT TYPE OF CONTENT WILL GET PRIORITIZED IN THE FEED?

Facebook has stated that Posts that spark and inspire conversations and meaningful interactions among people will be prioritized over public content in the news feed after the update.

Content that is shared and commented on will receive a higher prioritization. Comments are more valuable than Likes. Comments on Content that take time and thought to type out will be a positive ranking signal for the Content.

HOW CAN BUSINESSSE AND ORGANIZATIONS RESPOND TO THESE CHANGES?

Instead of posting everything, businesses and organizations will have to be more strategic about the content they post. They need to create posts that promote meaningful connections and interactions among people. Those will be prioritized in the news feed.

It is also wise for businesses and organizations to utilize additional platforms and strategies for getting their content in front of their target audience. If your business doesn’t have an audience on other platforms… now is the time to build those mechanisms.

I will talk more about that in future posts.

Until then, you may be interested in these related posts: Social Media Content Half Life, Big Data & Psychometric Marketing, Marketing Uplift & Predictive Modeling, and Targeted Marketing Models.

Category : BriteWire Blog


Referral Traffic Trends: Facebook Declines, Google Grows

In the back and forth battle for who reigns supreme for referral traffic, Google has once again taken over the lead from Facebook.

Referral Traffic Trends: Facebook Declines, Google Grows

In July 2015 Facebook pulled ahead of Google as the top source of referral traffic(source Parse.ly). Facebook’s share of referral traffic grew to 38.3 percent vs. Google’s 35.8 percent.

However beginning in February of 2017 websites began experiencing a significant and steady decline of referral traffic from Facebook, while refferal traffic from Google begin to slightly increase.

After six months of steadily declining numbers, Facebook referral traffic is now down over 25%.

Referral Traffic Trends: Facebook Declines, Google Grows

It is important to point out that the decrease in referral traffic from Facebook has not affected all publishers equally. Some have seen huge drops in traffic, while others have seen an increase in the same period.

Two-thirds of the publishers saw a decrease in referral traffic over this period while the remaining one-third saw an increase. For half, traffic decreased a substantial 20% or more, and for 20% of publishers, Facebook referral trafic was cut by 50% or more.

Facebook continues to tweak the algorithms it uses to govern what posts appear in their News Feed. It appears that Facebook is downgrading the chances of content from Businesses and Organizations from appearing in News Feeds… perhaps in an attempt to create more demand for its advertising business.

This topic is discussed(and confirmed) in a BriteWire blog post titled: How ‘Facebook Zero’ Will Impact Social Media Marketing.


Amazon #1, Google Drops To #2 In Product Searches

Amazon has become the top place consumers go on the Internet to search for products as Google continues to lose market share for e-commerce search.

Google – you blew it!

Amazon #1, Google Drops To #2 In Product SearchesWhen you all but eliminated “products” from your organic search results to create demand for your paid placement “Google Shopping” monetization scheme you ceased to be a Search Engine. Instead, you became a Paid Placement Advertising Service. Your index of products available for purchase was reduced to those stores willing to pay you to inlcude their products in your Google Shopping product index.

Google Shopping is powered by two platforms: AdWords and Google Merchant Center. Google Merchant Center is where stores submit their product data feeds to. AdWords is where stores create Google Shopping Ads to promote the products in the Google Shopping product index. Only products submitted to Google Merchant Center and paid to be promoted via AdWords appear in the Google Shopping product index.

Google’s “pay to play” shopping scheme resulted in a small subset of products represented in their search results, and allowed Amazon to take a leadership position in Product Search. It also resulted in a $2.7BN fine for EU antitrust violations over Google shopping searches.

Fifty-five percent of people in the U.S. now start their online shopping trips on Amazon.com(source: BloomReach 2016 survey). That statistic marks a 25 percent increase from the same survey last year, when 44 percent of online shoppers said they turned to Amazon first. Over the same time, the percentage of shoppers who start product searches on search engines like Google dropped from 34 percent to 28 percent.

Amazon is exploiting Google’s “weakness” in online shopping, as shoppers are increasingly starting their product searches on Amazon instead of Google(source: Forrester Research Report 2017). According to the report, consumers are 2.5 times more likely to find out about the brand of a recent purchase from Amazon versus any other search. “This erosion is likely to continue” for Google, the report said.

According to a survey by the financial services firm Raymond James, more than half of people start their search for online shopping on Amazon now, while only 26% use search engines like Google as the starting point.

Perhaps what’s more concerning is that the search engine’s share has been cut in half compared to 2014, while Amazon’s share has significantly increased over the past two years.

And it doesn’t look like the trend will change any time soon. The prime 18 to 29 year age group prefers Amazon by a wide margin when it comes to online product searches, according to the survey.

Product Search Starting Point

Product Search Preference By Age Group

Category : BriteWire Blog


Targeted Marketing Models

Targeting the best prospective core customers within the markets that have the highest probability of success establishes clear marketing goals that can be accurately measured by customer acquisition and sales conversion.

Targeted Marketing Models
In a previous post I covered Marketing Uplift & Predictive Modeling.

This post will discuss using Predictive Modeling & Marketing Uplift combined with classic Customer Analytics to create more accurate Targeted Marketing Campaigns.

The foundation of any accurate marketing model is a precise definition of your core customer, which encompasses 4 key aspects:

  1. Who your best customers are
  2. Where your best potential customers can be found
  3. What messages those customers respond to & when to send them
  4. The value potential the customers have to you, either in terms of dollars or visits

Customer analytic solutions have traditionally been used to gather some of those customer insights(Data Dimensions).

However, a properly defined Marketing Model combined with Customer Analytics can help not only accurately quantify the benefit for your marketing programs, but build out a deeper definition of your core customer.

Predictive Modeling can be used to understand the potential benefit of a new marketing program before it is launched. It can help you predict if it is a good investment or a bad one.

It can also be used to optimize existing marketing programs by establishing and analyzing key metrics.

The ability to measure, analyze, and assess existing marketing programs can identify which programs are not meeting their potential and then determine the gap between actual performance and ultimate potential.

Correlating this marketing information with known customer data dimensions allows you to refine your Core Customer Profile.

This insight allows you to immediately reprioritize resources for management, re-assign budget and marketing from the initiatives with no upside to the ones that are just underperforming.

Insights from customer analytics and marketing models on who core customers are, where potential core customers are located within an underperforming market area, what messages they respond to and when they respond to them, and the potential value of each of those core customers makes it possible to develop a focused demographic & psychographic profile of customers to target, and a measurable marketing campaign to go after them.

BriteWire sends the right message, to the right customer, at the right time.


Google AMP Is Not A Good Thing

Google’s AMP is bad. Google AMP is bad for how the web is built. Google AMP is bad for publishers. Google AMP is only good for one party: Google.

Google AMP
Do we really need Instant Articles (Facebook) and AMP (Google) when we can accomplish fast loading pages with plain, uncomplicated HTML and CSS?
Web developers can use simple HTML and CSS to make clear, fast loading pages. This does not require complicated tricks or techniques. The pages can still be made to be functional, and have good graphic design.

When AMP (Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages) first came out, I was optimistic. AMP’s aim was to make the web faster, and I am aligned with that goal.

What I dislike was the fact that Google was caching AMP content, and serving it from their own cache and under their own domain name. In other words, instead of serving the content from my websites, it is being served from Google.com.

This is a clever scheme to “trap” users on a Google owned ecosystem.

To entice developers and publishers to implement AMP, Google let it be known that AMP enabled websites would rank well in Google search results. To be clear, Google has officially stated that AMP support does not affect site’s search ranking… but they made it very clear that they will penalize websites that do not render fast on mobile devices. AMP enabled content will render fast on mobile devices. Therefore developers came to the conclusion that AMP enabled websites would be a good strategy for ranking well in Google’s search results.

Another search ranking benefit of AMP, is that only AMP enabled sites are shown in Google’s carousel feature. Getting featured there must be very important for big publishers.

Google’s AMP is bad. Google AMP is bad for how the web is built. Google AMP is bad for publishers. Google AMP is only good for one party: Google.

Category : BriteWire Blog